Personal Injury: Distracted Driving
A New Leader in Motor Vehicle Accident Causes: Distracted Driving
Distracted driving has been admonished by federal and state administrations who are describing the behavior as the new drunk driving. The comparisons between distracted driving and impaired driving are palpable, with a remarkable link being that they are both completely preventable!
Distracted Driving Statistics Throughout the United States
Distracted driving has always been a problem in the United States, and while technology has deepened its role in accidents and traffic fatalities, the blame for the results of distracted driving still lies with the negligent driver who is taking their eyes, ears, and minds away from the important activity at hand.
According to the Department of Transportation:
- It only takes three seconds for a driver’s attention to be diverted for an accident to occur
- Last year there were nearly 400,000 injuries caused by distracted driving-related accidents
- Distracted driving was cited as a major factor in 3,477 traffic deaths over a single year
- Nine people are killed in the U.S. each day in a crash that involves a distracted driver
Distracted Driving Accident Causes
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the act of driving.
The major causes of distracted driving can include:
- Cellphone use, including texting, calling, or internet searches
- Eating or drinking behind the wheel
- GPS, radios, or technology use with in-car systems
- Unrestrained dogs in the vehicle
- Children in the vehicle requiring attention
- Personal grooming
- Engaging in conversations/activities with passengers
- Reading newspapers or maps
Acts seemingly as innocent as reaching for a bag next to you or picking up a dropped object are distracting activities that must be tamed while driving, too.
The Main Distracted Driving Culprit: Cellphones
One quick glance around traffic patterns will reflect one or more people using their cellphones while driving. The dangerous activity has obviously grown with society’s enhanced dependency on technology, including the GPS functionality phones have that help us find residential and commercial locations. And as helpful as the turn by turn instructions may be, even seconds of their use can cause catastrophic accidents to occur – quickly.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at any moment over 481,000 drivers are handling cellphones during daylight hours, and:
- Drivers are three times more likely to get into an accident when they are distracted by cellphones
- Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving under the influence of alcohol
- Sending a single text requires a driver’s eyes to leave the road for approximately five seconds, or the time it takes to cover the length of a football field when traveling 55 miles per hour
- Cellphone use while driving contributes to 1.6 million crashes each year
- One in every four traffic crashes is caused by cellphone usage in the U.S.
Is It Illegal to Text and Drive in California?
Yes. It is illegal to text and drive in the State of California. In fact, it is illegal to hold or operate any hand-held device while driving in the State of California, even if it a GPS device. Drivers over the age of 18 are able to use a hands-free device to make/receive phone calls, but drivers under the age of 18 are banned from all electronic device use – hands-free or otherwise.
It is currently illegal to text and drive throughout 47 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. If you have been involved in an accident that was caused by a distracted driver, that crash was the result of negligence, and you deserve justice. Contact the experienced auto accident attorney at Eldessouky Law in Anaheim, California at (714) 970-4843 today to discuss your case and understand your rights to financial recovery.